TN: 2016 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard

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Phil T r o t t e r
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Joined: August 5th, 2020, 6:46 am
Location: Montreal, Canada

TN: 2016 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard

#1 Post by Phil T r o t t e r » October 15th, 2020, 7:30 pm

I need to start by saying that my experience with US wines is extremely limited. Other than a 4 weeks vacation to California where my better half and I went through just a few wineries, I have spent very little time and money on US wines. Initially, it was because of a preconceived and erroneous notion that most if not all American wines were modern, extracted and far from my Old World palate and preferences. I realized some time ago that this very reductive outlook was outdated (if ever true...) and prevented me from discovering interesting wines. The second challenge is price and availability. American wines are simply not easily available nor priced advantageously north of the border (especially in the province of Quebec). Add all of that to the fact that my natural inclination goes to Old World wines and that has left me with little to no tasting history in American wines.

I posted a note recently on an Arcadian Clos Pepe Pinot Noir 2011 that I found quite good but too young. Tonight, it was Gary Farrell PN Hallberg Vineyard 2016:
2016 Gary Farrell Pinot Noir Hallberg Vineyard - USA, California, Sonoma County, Russian River Valley (10/15/2020)

Super inviting nose that screams Pinot Noir (in French, we say: "Ça pinotte"): cherry, red currant, pomegranate and a lot of damp earth. I perceived very little élevage and the little there was, was not out of place. The palate is really enjoyable showing plenty of concentration on the mid-palate, nice acidity from beginning to end and supple tannins. This drinks perfectly right now but would surely evolve nicely over time. The pairing with gnocchi with an assortment of wild mushrooms and duck confit was classic but spot on and the bottle was emptied before the end of the meal.

What I am wondering is... how does this wine stack up in the hierarchy of Californian Pinot Noir? I know it's a loaded questions but is it known to be an average, decent, good, very good wine? Is it mostly consistent over various vintages? What about other Gary Farrell wines?

I was very happy with this and will look for additional bottles (I had only bought 2 as this was a blind purchase).

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